Desert Star Playhouse’s Indiana Jones spoof is just how audiences like things at the family-friendly parody factory: reliably zany and self-consciously ridiculous.
Long-time DSP conspirator Jack Drayton is excellent as Indiana Bones, the rough-shaven archeologist who is using a map and a stone to find an ancient temple. Drayton looks and sounds like an old-fashioned leading man — which makes it even funnier when, for example, he must provide his own echoes while shouting into a ravine. (His fast little grapevine dance during one of the musical numbers is also a stitch.)
Joining Indiana on his search and becoming his love interest is Cynthia Sydney (Holly Braithwaite), who is in the jungle searching for her missing father, Prof. Sydney (Ed Farnsworth). Cynthia has two folks accompanying her. First is her fiance, the extremely nerdy Oswald Banning III (Scott Holman, also director), who is destined to be dumped when Cynthia falls for Indiana instead. Fortunately, a gal named Ruby (Arika Schockmel) is along, too, whom Oswald can easily wind up with.
The bad guys are Hitler lookalike Herr Lipman (Matt Kohler) and his henchman Raboul (Christopher Glade). They want to get to the temple first and do bad stuff and blah blah blah.
Perhaps in keeping with the time frame of the Indiana Jones movies, and perhaps coincidentally, most of the songs in this show borrow tunes from ’40s-era numbers. One of the best is “You and the Night and Mosquitoes,” sung torchily by Ruby and Oswald (yes, there’s a JFK joke there) in tango-style as they slap mosquito bites on themselves and each other to provide the appropriate percussion.
Also noteworthy if just for its sheer irrelevance is Raboul’s “Thank Heaven for Little Spiders.”
The show has one of the most prolonged finales I’ve seen, but aside from that comes off very well. The local “jokes” (the quote marks are because merely saying the word “Provo” is more of a reference than a joke, though that doesn’t stop the audience from hooting) are kept to a minimum, and the few that are used generally are funny.
Everything as a whole is extremely funny, in fact. It’s another hit for this very reliable theater.
This was the last show the four of us (myself, Chris, Lisa and Joel) watched together. Shortly after this, Joel moved to Virginia to work as a performer at Busch Gardens.